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Make Family Memories at the Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is a must-do for animal lovers of all ages. Filled with a diverse assortment of species ranging from anacondas to eastern bongos (a rare African antelope), it is an excellent opportunity to see hundreds of animals from all over the world in an engaging environment. The family will love spending time with friendly Houston Zoo animals, while you enjoy the savings of sightseeing with a Houston CityPASS!


Houston Zoo Animals

There are 17 exhibits at the Houston Zoo and over 900 species of animals. Make sure to check the website before your visit to see which exhibits are open so you can make sure you see all your favorite animals during your time at the zoo!

Houston Zoo Exhibits Include:

  • Hamill Foundation Black Bear Exhibit: Watch Belle and Willow – two orphaned black bears rescued from California – explore and play in their newly redesigned home.
  • African Forest: Wander down a path that leads you to exhibits hosting animals such as chimpanzees, Masai giraffes, southern white rhinoceros, and more, all of who reside peacefully in a painstakingly recreated African environment.
  • Bird Habitats: There are 800 birds from over 200 species here, warbling and chirping with unabashed enthusiasm.
  • Bug House: Creepy crawlies galore! Learn all about the vital role invertebrates play in our ecosystem – and how to take an eco-friendly and responsible approach to eliminating these so-called "pests."
  • Carruth Natural Encounters: Inside the climate-controlled building, you’ll get to see animals from various habitats including desert meerkats, red-bellied piranhas from the sea, and the rainforest-dwelling endangered golden lion tamarins.
  • Explore the Wild! Nature Play Area: Children will jump at the opportunity to unleash their inner animal and run wild in an area designed to facilitate imaginative play.
  • Giraffe Feeding Platform: Snag a crunchy lettuce snack to give to the lovable family of Masai giraffes during their twice-daily designated feeding times.
  • McNair Elephant Habitat Area: Admire the lumbering, yet surprisingly graceful, proboscideans in their newly-expanded habitat that includes a massive 160,000-gallon pool.
  • Naturally Wild Swap Shop: Have a cool rock or another interesting piece of nature found outside the zoo? Trade up to three of them at the swap shop and discuss what you learned about them with an on-site naturalist.
  • Reptile and Amphibian House: Rainbow-hued frogs and venomous snakes rule the roost in this fascinating exhibit.
  • Sea Lion Habitat: Catch the daily show (the schedule is available inside the park) or gaze at the adorable sea lions as they swim in their pool or laze on the beach.
  • Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands: This brand new exhibit boasts three native Texas species (American alligators, bald eagles, and whooping cranes) that have made a remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction, thanks to local and national conservation efforts.
  • Wildlife Carousel: Children and adults alike will enjoy the whimsically painted creatures on this amusing zoo ride.
  • Wortham World of Primates: Wander down a snaking boardwalk to admire some of nature’s most intelligent animals, including black howler monkeys, orangutans, and siamangs (vociferous Asian simians.)

With so many exciting exhibits to choose from, make sure to download a Houston Zoo map before you visit so you’ll be able to navigate the park easily.


Houston Zoo Parking and Directions

Directions to the Houston Zoo can be found on the official site. Free parking options are limited to lots in Hermann Park, (which fill up quickly, so it’s best to arrive as early as possible). Overflow parking is available on weekends and shuttle buses transport guests to the park. Visitors can also access the park via public transportation (like the METRORail) or rideshares.

Houston Zoo Admission Fees

Houston zoo tickets can be purchased online at the official zoo site or in person at the entrance, but if you’re planning on visiting some of Houston’s other top attractions, you can save some serious money with a Houston CityPASS. Along with a Houston Zoo discount, the Houston CityPASS will save you almost 50% on admission costs to other beloved spots like the Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and more.

Houston Zoo Prices

The cost of visiting the zoo depends on a couple factors: ticket prices vary by age if you buy directly from the zoo, and they do not include extra activities like shows, rides, and other things to do. Make sure to check the website for the most up-to-date information on admission prices. Tickets for the Houston Zoo Lights, a nightly seasonal show typically presented November through early January, can be purchased online, and rides on the Wildlife Carousel and snacks for the giraffes cost extra as well.

The Houston Zoo is genuinely a wonderland filled with a spectacular array of animals from almost every continent. It’s a fantastic place to make memories that will last a lifetime and to learn more about the incredible creatures with whom we share our planet.


Visit the Houston Zoo for Less With CityPASS

If the Houston Zoo is on your list of must-see attractions, why not save money on admission so you can see even more of the city? CityPASS has teamed up with top attractions to give you deep discounts on Houston hot spots including the Downtown Aquarium, Space Center Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science and more! Find the Houston CityPASS option that works for you and start saving today!

Header Image © Lori Herlin, courtesy of Houston Zoo